Batten down the hatches, north prepares for heavy rain and flash flooding


AUTHORITIES are urging residents across the Illawarra to prepare for severe weather over the coming days and into next week.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting heavy rain for Friday with a chance of a thunderstorm.

Surf conditions may be more powerful than they appear and are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing and swimming.

With one-third of properties in the Wollongong region at risk of flooding, residents should be preparing for heavy rains tomorrow and over the weekend.

The city’s location, particularly in the north between the mountains and the sea, means flash flooding can often happen as water travels down the escarpment towards the ocean.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said like bush fires, storms and flooding can be extremely dynamic and unpredictable in nature.

“Large volumes of water can move down our streams and water courses in a very short time,” Cr Bradbury said.

“Stay well clear of any waterways or storm water drains. If you live in an area prone to flooding it is important to prepare your family and property now before floods arrive.”

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Deputy Commissioner, Daniel Austin is urging residents to prepare for the wet weather. He said the SES will focus on the region on Friday as the wet weather moves down from the north of the state.

Mr Austin said SES volunteers are on standby to assist communities and additional resources have been deployed to areas likely to be impacted by the severe weather event.

“Across those areas we are preparing for the possibility of flooding if rainfall levels are significant, in which case homes and businesses may be impacted,” he said.

“Preparing now for a flood can save lives and minimise the damage to property and possessions.”

Mr Austin is also asking the community to avoid driving through flooded roads.

“Heavy rain resulting in flash flooding along the coast is a real possibility. Flash flooding is incredibly dangerous. I’m urging motorists, please stay safe on the roads – pull over if the rain becomes too heavy or if you can no longer see where you are going. Make safe decisions and never enter floodwaters.

“Take the time to plan your trip, check for road closures and traffic conditions before you get on the road,” said Mr Austin.

Cr Bradbury said it was a good idea to follow the Illawarra South Coast NSW SES Facebook Page for updates and information.

“If you don’t have Facebook, check for updates on their website,” he said.

“Tune your radios to ABC, they are the national emergency broadcaster and have the most up-to-date information. For emergency help in flooding or storms call 132 500 or triple 000 if it is life-threatening.”

Council crews are on standby to work with the SES and ensure safety in the event of any road closures.

For more information on floods and stormwater visit Council’s website.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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